Research - August 24, 2012
Microsoft was recently positioned as a leader in Gartner’s 2012 Magic Quadrant for Single-Instance ERP for Product-Centric Midmarket Companies. Over the past few years, Microsoft has been listed numerous times in various Magic Quadrants by Gartner. This time, it is for the enterprise accounting solution – Microsoft Dynamics AX – product line. Learn more about Gartner Magic Quadrants here.
The focus of this specific magic quadrant is on ERP software systems that support a single-instance strategy for multi-entity midmarket and upper market businesses. The quadrant looked at user-centric improvements and deeper integration of analytical capabilities. Microsoft Dynamics AX is one of the two solutions listed as leaders in this quadrant.
Microsoft Dynamics AX Strengths
- The flexibility and extensibility of Microsoft Dynamics AX makes it a strong solution for midsize customers and should be of particular interest to large companies trying to satisfy divergent business unit needs, such as multimode manufacturing. Discrete, process and lean manufacturing principles have been integrated into one solution and can be used in parallel. The system also enables users to combine solutions from various industries. However, this flexibility means that consistent, centralized change management is key.
- One of Microsoft Dynamics' strengths is the way it leverages the Microsoft application platform and productivity suite, with enhanced integrations to Microsoft's Visual Studio, SQL Server and BI, and SharePoint. Throughout the system, analytical capabilities have been more deeply integrated. Early adopters whom Gartner interviewed highlighted the ease of adding data visualizations and drill-down capabilities.
- The new architecture of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 supports the parallel deployment of extensions built by different partners into one solution. The partner layer can host multiple extensions, which are well separated from each other but can interact through clearly defined interfaces.
- Role-based UI personalization is seen by customers as being very flexible. However, Gartner estimates that only 20% to 25% of the user base personalizes the UI.
- Customers praise Microsoft's Premier support. Many customers value a strong relationship with Microsoft's development team. However, to scale, Microsoft needs to find a way to disseminate the same level of knowledge to partners, or embrace this direct contact as a differentiator and resource it.
- The new modeling capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 allow customers to graphically model various aspects of an enterprise, like the organizational setup and relationships between various business units, the allocation of people to organization units and the respective setup of user rights and access options. This model, while not yet making Microsoft Dynamics AX a fully model-driven packaged application, positions it better for upper midmarket companies, which tend to have dynamic and complex hierarchies.